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Care Instructions for a 1 Year Old (Interpreted by the Grandparents)

I was just digging through some old photo albums today and this folded up note fell out.  It’s a six page list of ‘guidelines and explanations’ (my own obnoxious words) that I wrote up for my mother and father-in-law when they offered to care for our daughter so that I could take a once-in-a-lifetime ten-day trip to Italy with my mom.

This was eight years ago.  My daughter had just turned one and we had just moved into a new house the week before.  There were boxes everywhere and the normal craziness of living with a one year old.  Even with all that, my in-laws were kind enough to volunteer to fly from Arizona to Seattle to watch her so that my mom and I could go on a food and wine tour across Italy.  I am still grateful that they gave us this gift of their time and now I am even more grateful that they didn’t either bolt for the door or laugh in my face when they saw what follows.

To ‘help’ them out, I put together what I thought was a helpful, information-packed list of all of the critical need-to-know items that they (and my daughter) would need to survive the next ten days.  As I read it now, eight years (and a second kid) later, I realize how thoroughly amusing this instruction sheet must have been to two intelligent, loving parents/grandparents who already raised two boys of their own.

What follows is the body of the note and what I can only imagine was going through their heads as they read it.

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I share this with all the moms out there. It’s for the new moms who are preparing to write your own lists of ‘guidelines and instructions’ for your first time away from your baby. And it’s for the moms like me, with older kids, but who can still remember that first time we handed off our sweet babies as we ventured out of arms reach for the first time.

Save those notes. You’ll look at them some day and they’ll remind you of how far you have come…and that you should probably step it up a notch for your in-laws’ Christmas present this year.

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*Follow up* I received some interesting ‘feedback’ (criticism) from moms who do not think it’s appropriate to take a vacation without your kids.  I wrote this follow up post for them:

5 Reasons You Need to Take a Vacation Without Your Kids

And in case my in-laws didn’t think I was crazy enough, here’s a look at the 3 hours text conversation that I *thought* I was having with my father in law.

Last, but not least, my husband just released a new “can’t put down” thriller called, “Crash Alive.” Come read my exclusive, somewhat sober, interview with him, (or at least how I think it would have gone if he had been awake.)



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152 thoughts on “Care Instructions for a 1 Year Old (Interpreted by the Grandparents)

  1. My husband and I received a couple of those lists in the early days of grandparenting. We found them very funny, but tried to play along. We were both retired teachers who had raised 2 girls to be normal people and knew we could pull it off. Very fun to see our family is not the only one to overlist the rules for babysitting.

  2. I’ll sidestep the issue of the “cray-cray” note, except to say “Baaahahahahahaha!’ However, I will say that I think it is absolutely WONDERFUL that your in-laws were willing and able to take care of your daughter for you. I am sure they were BLESSED by the experience as you were BLESSED by the ability to go to Italy.

    1. It really was wonderful. Although my husband was still around when he returned from work each night, I think it’s wonderful for grandparents to have some one on one time with their grandkids without feeling like they’re being watched every minute (although after that note, they probably still felt like they were being watched!) 😉

    1. I’m so glad – I owed you one since you make me laugh all the time! I’ve had a bunch of visits from all the sweet people who follow your page – I sure appreciate you ‘introducing us’ to each other! 🙂

  3. hahaha! I totally did this to my mother-in-law, my mom, and also my dad and stepmom.

    Also, funny side story – when my dad and stepmom would come watch my daughter, they would completely drain the batteries on the video monitor because they would spend the whole evening watching her on it. They were fascinated by the ability to be able to watch her sleep. lol

    1. I know – I loved our video monitor. I wanted to invent a video monitor where there was an option to record when things got interesting. 🙂

  4. So, so funny, because we can all relate! ha. brave of you to make fun of yourself. I need to do this more often. P.S. love your handwriting. Visiting you via #SITSShareFest

  5. Tears streamed down my face as i read this. I saw myself, my scary first-child self. So i forwarded it to my MIL (we are now 9 years into parenthood), with an apology and ‘i promise, next time i will leave the Doctor’s phone number, their school bell times and a post-it note with our number overseas’ and my MIL forgave me and said that while the first ‘Bible of child care’ was a bit over the top, she really appreciates the info I leave! Wow- you thought YOUR in-laws were great!
    Thanks for many great laughs…

  6. This is just pure amazingness. But, no offense, this puts all those “crazy” instructions my parents claim I gave to them to shame. So, of course, I had to share with mom and dad, so that they would know it could have been worse. Thanks for making me lol. I love you even more now! xx

    1. Thank you so much – I have a feeling that my note makes a lot of people feel ‘normal’ in comparison. 🙂 You’ll be glad to know that tonight’s note for the babysitter just said “5 yo bedtime 7:30, 9yo 8:00” and then we ran for it!

  7. Oooh. M. Geeeee. This is the funniest thing I have read all week! I can totally relate. I was super worries about leaving my first baby even, even with his grandparents. And though I never wrote a note like this, I did give PLENTY of verbal instruction which much have left them thinking these SAME thoughts. Lol. I now have four kids and am grateful to ANY one who takes them for me to get away. No more instructions. Not even ones they probably wish they had.

  8. This was hysterical! When my daughter was 1, my husband and I went to France and Ireland for 10 days, and reading this makes me wish I had saved the no doubt ridiculously detailed instructions I left for my mother. I don’t remember what I wrote but I’m quite sure it was bonkers.

  9. I am totally the opposite- I barely write anything out for my mom (I figure she’s done this before) and with babysitters I often even forget to leave our cell phone number! My fav list is one my brother left- via direction of my sis-in-law when she went on a girls weekend. Their daughter has some special needs and she needed to know some “output” information. The list he made was hysterical:
    6am- only the pees
    7am- all the poops
    10am- stinky one
    12pm- stinkiest stinker that’s ever stunk
    1pm- poop the likes of which I have never seen: THE HORROR
    1:01pm: bath

    1. Now I’ve kind of gone crazy in the other direction, like just shouting things to the babysitter as we’re walking out the door like: “9yo might kind of be sick or something….just give her the big silver bowl….my phone battery’s dying just in case you call and we don’t answer….”

  10. This. Is. Awesome.

    By the way, what would’ve happened had they gone south instead of north? Is that the seedy side of town? Did you leave directions for a southbound walk?

    Isn’t it funny how insane we are with our first and how NOT insane we are with any subsequent babies? I was the same way (maybe 4 pages, not 6) when my first was born.

    1. It wasn’t so much that going south was bad, it’s that going north was amazing because this little slice of heaven was up the street. (Big shout out to Larsens and their insanely amazing kringles).

      Yes, my poor kids barely get a post-it note these days, and it doesn’t have instructions on it, instead it just says “don’t call us unless something’s on fire!” on it. 😉

  11. Oh.Mah.God. That was the funniest fucking thing I have ever read. I was Hard laughing all the way through. My favorite parts were where the “grandparents” said “No.” Also the counterintelligence agent for the FBI. (Was he really?) Also, you literally wrote “ut oh = ut oh.” Also, the direction to walk the dog. Were you in the remote jungles of Italy where they would never be able to contact you? I’m definitely sharing this one!

    1. You’re so funny. A few answers to your questions (which will probably make me sound even crazier). Yes, his dad really was an counterintelligence agent for the FBI – he’s brilliant and based on his latest books, probably knows 20 ways to kill a man with a Bic pen. (His books are The Riviera Contract and The African Contract)

      I totally did write “Ut oh = Ut oh” – There’s no excuse.
      I do have a slight defense about the dog walking – There was an amazing bakery up the way if they went north. 😉
      What makes it all worse is that my husband was still in town with them and had just spent the past 3 months on paternity leave with her so he was fully capable of answering any questions.
      And lastly, I have loosened up considerably in the past 8 years. 😉

      1. Yes, but you didn’t mention the BAKERY in your letter or what they should order when they got there or that cookies = cookies so if your kid says cookie means she wants a cookie. (I am laughing hysterically as I type this.) Or the direction they should walk in the afternoon as they walk your goddamn dog for you for the second time that day & picked up his shit. Also, how did your FIL keep from killing you when you handed him this note? I canNOT believe you handed that to an FBI agent. I did once leave a note for my SIL when she watched our kid on our 1 yr anniversary (she had 3 kids of her own mind you), but it was only 1 page & she proceeded to promptly ignore it.

        1. Fortunately I have amazing in-laws. I’m sure they got a good laugh out of it and then did their own thing. You should see the instructions I have to leave for feeding our complicated, geriatric cats!

  12. We’ve all done it! But as my wise mother says, “It’s the sin of pride to think you can’t be replaced.” This from someone who was a wonderful step-mother to my older brother! She reminded me that while we think we can’t be replaced in the mommy dept. that there may be someone who can love just as much (be it an adoptive parent, grandparent, step-parent, foster parent, or friend’s parent)!

  13. OH EM GEE. HAHAHAHAHA. That was the best thing I’ve read all month! I’ve only left my son overnight once – with our neighbor- when I went to the hospital (3 minute drive away) to have our daughter. (and my husband was easily able to go home any time.) My list was only 5 pages… but typed. Ah… fun memories. Thanks for the laugh!

  14. This made me smile! But also made me realize how crazy I am with my own kids! At least yours was still a wee one. My husband and I had to go out of town for 3 days ( took our 10 month old with us btw) and left our 13 and 14 year old boys in the care of our 18 yr old daughter. I made a crazy a$$ list for her because they still had school. Imagine if she had to look after the baby? Lol

  15. Bahahaha! I laugh hard because I have an 18 mo old and am pregnant with #2. I REALLY want to have a get away with my hubby before the arrival of this one. BUT all I can think is how can I leave him with people who don’t know what I know?!?! I know it’s ridiculous and he has no real issues to deal with and most likely would be happy with either grandma or others but it’s just weird to think of leaving him.

  16. Hi All, As both a grand mother and a child care worker, I would rather receive wads of information about a child than to be left floundering and not coping at all. I can tell you were caring for both the grandparents and Zoe. I bet this was a great experience for the grandparents being left with Zoe for 10 days. What a great bonding time they all would have had.

    1. I received a few negative comments on Facebook pages about leaving my daughter, but I wholeheartedly believe that she benefited immensely from having that special one on one time with her grandparents. And, if we’re to honor time with ‘our kids’, we can’t forget that we are our parents’ kids, so I’ll never regret having 10 days in Italy with my mom. Thanks so much for your note!

  17. Oh, I did this too. In our defense, I don’t believe the notes were so much for the caregiver as they were for us first-time moms terrified that our “connection,” established through these routines, will somehow be shattered during our brief absence. It is our way of trying to make sure baby doesn’t miss us, or worse, forget us. Irrational as it may be, it is from the heart.

  18. I didn’t let anyone watch my son until he was 11 months old. Even now at two years old he’s never stayed overnight anywhere and the in law are the only people we let babysit. I don’t leave detailed instruction, but we also make sure he’s ate dinner, had a bath and has a snack and drink just in case he gets hungry/thirsty. They watch him at our house because it’s more “baby friendly”, he has toys here and his bed is here. I’m a stay at home mom, so the only thing I’m particular about is bedtime and not getting him up if he wakes up because he’ll put himself back to bed if you give him a couple minutes. I’ve heard that I’ll be a lot more flexible when I have another, so it’s just something about that first born that makes you super particular/protective. I look forward to having another eventually but I’m dreading leaving him overnight when the time comes. The in laws only had one child, my husband, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do babysitting more than one grandkid.

  19. haha!
    As the first-time mum of a 5-month old the notes look quite reasonable to me! I shall have to remember to afford future caregivers a bit of commonsense.

  20. Oooooooooh thank you for the laugh!! I seriously can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard. Thanks for sharing this. I don’t know if we’ve ALL been there, but I certainly was! Praise God for my next two babies who set me freeeee from having time or brains or energy to care about those little things! 🙂 Seriously, though, this is the BEST thing I’ve seen on the internet all year, I think. <3 <3 <3

  21. I have a 15 month old whom we left with my mother in law for 2 nights(that’s it) shortly after his 1st birthday. I, too left a list for her. I typed it up and it was front and back of the page. Like you, we had just moved into a new house (in a new town, she had only been to a few times) so a good portion of that list was household info as well as things to do around town. I also included instructions on caring for the dogs, which was probably the most unnecessary part of the list because my in laws have kept our dogs HUNDREDS of times(just never at our house). As far as the info for my son it mostly included his nap schedule, favorite foods and his use of sign language and word interpretations similar to yours which I fully understand was NOT necessary. I’d say the only part of my list that was necessary was how to administer a nebulizer treatment (he suffers from asthma) and the fact that he HAS TO HAVE (and I’m pretty sure I put it in all caps just like this) ear plugs in when bathing because he has tubes in his ears. I loved your post and am glad to know I’m not the only momma that left a list like this.

    1. Yes, although I think it’s one of the silliest sounding parts of the note, the recommendation for them to walk the dog ‘north’ was because there was an amazing bakery up there (and because south was a little sketchy). I’m just really grateful they ever came back. 😉 Hope you come to visit the site again sometime, or you can follow me at Have a great weekend!

  22. I did the same thing about 30 years ago when I left my 6 month old with my mom, 2 adult sisters and brother-in-law. I am sure my mother got a good laugh – she had already raised 5 kids. As I read & giggled through your instructions, I felt a bit silly about mine. On the other hand, it shows how much you trusted your in-laws and just wanted to make it easier for them. “You have come along way, Baby”

    1. Yes, they stay at our in-laws house now while we get a hotel when we visit them and there are absolutely no rules and everyone has an absolute ball. I’m glad I’ve loosened up….and that I have understanding inlaws.

  23. !3 pages. I left 13 pages for a 5 day trip to Canada. And this wasn’t first baby jitters- I had three! Two pages were dedicated to how to work the remote. (To be fair, the remote was fairly complicated). But I also wrote out instructions on exactly how to make a ham and cheese sandwich. I think I might have control issues… But they did ask me to leave specific instructions. Be careful what you wish for!!

  24. I don´t know, but it I actually trust my parents 100% when my daughter is with them. Maybe is a cultural thing, but if I was the grandparent in this case, and I receive notes with this detail about how to babysit (don´t forget I raised the person who wrote the note), I would probably question if it is a good idea to babysit in the first place.

  25. Haha! Love it! I’m not the only crazy soul! Before having Kids I had a little chihuahua that was like my first born. I never went anywhere because I was afraid no one would know how to take care of him. Then my husband won a trip to Mexico. I left a four page essay for my sister in law! Lol (at least yours was in bullet form! Lol)So You don’t want to begin to guess how crazy I was with my first born. And I didn’t even go on any trip, I just went back to work when he was around 1 year old! (8 hours a day for only once a week!) Gotta love these crazy memories though! 🙂

  26. It’s a grey wet day in the UK and I’m just off on the school run and work with 5!
    Boy did I laugh, thank you for sharing.
    I remember the first few nights out after son 1 was born and the millions of phone calls to mum that I made to check he was “alright”.
    My father was amused by the whole event and asked If I had managed to watch any of the film or eat my meal as I’d called on average every 20 minutes.
    I shared this with hubby too , it made our morning. Xx


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  28. it meant it was difficult to leave her, not with them, but for you to leave. Writing the note made you feel better. I’m glad they understood, my Mom looked at me and just smiled as I did the same. 🙂

  29. NO YOU DIDN’T. That is HILARIOUS. I was almost maybe kind of laughing AT you and then I remembered ME. I found a note book page about my first born son that looked straight out of the movie Beautiful Mind. Broken down by days covering EVERY SINGLE nap start time, end time and duration as well as how many ounces of pumped breast milk he drank and the time consumed. I did this right before I went back to work so I could PLOT OUT his routine to give to his care giver. Thank you for sharing.

    1. The funny thing is that the night before this note plopped out of my bookcase, we were just having a wine night and giving a friend a hard time about being worried about leaving her (8 month old) baby for the first time to go to an out of state wedding. We were all “Go! It’s no biggie! Don’t even think twice about it!” It was definitely a sign from the universe to never forget what it was like the first year of being a first time mother.

  30. This is great! I am a birth mom to 4, have adopted 2 foster kids, and fostered 15 others. I recently left my 4 and 1 year olds with a new, young babysitter. After I had been gone about an hour, I realized I had completely forgotten to even leave my cell phone number! You’d think I would at least remember to do that much. Maybe I need 4 pages of instructions for myself! haha

  31. My daughter was so stressed by her son who had colic, she would just hand me the baby carrier and diaper bag at the door and almost shut it in my face. I sometimes had trouble finding out when he ate last. And I usually took him overnight. Things have settled down some now.

  32. Thanks for sharing the laughter with us..That is totally hilarious.
    I did left an instruction manual too when I left my first one (19 months old) in the day care. Not too intricate like yours. I didn’t know what they did with that instruction.. considering they are all professional childcare workers, but it just made me feel good, that I have done something to other people who will look after my baby.
    Really had a belly laughter when reading yours..

  33. I didn’t let anyone look after my first until he was a year old and then I left him with my hubby when I went in to have our second son 🙂
    Strangely, I didn’t need to leave instructions for him haha

    LOVED your note though but loved your comments even more haha literally laughed out loud!

  34. I must admit, I did the same thing. Not 6 pages long, BUT it was typed and laminated. And I kept an updated copy on the fridge just in case I had an emergency and had to leave the baby with someone at the last minute. And I left sticky notes EVERYWHERE labeling where things were, how much formula to mix with the water, proper dose of medications and vitamins, etc. Hahaha! Funny to look back on it now. Enjoyed the post!

  35. Hahahahaha! This is great! I stumbled across this from a friend’s Facebook page and laughed the whole way through. I had the opposite problem. I ignored my desire to write a detailed note, trying not to be a nag, the first time I left my oldest with my Husband and my Dad for the day (she was 8 months old). 6 hours with her and they forgot to feed her. I came home to them upset because she wouldn’t stop crying. Then they went through the list of all the things they had done to try to make her happy (changing, attempt at nap, took her temperature, bath, etc.) without mentioning food. I said, “When was the last time she ate? She might be hungry.” They both looked at me with blank faces and said, “You didn’t tell us we should feed her!” Um, didn’t think I needed to explain something so obvious. My response, “Did YOU eat in the last six hours? Yes? Well then she needed to eat too!” She’s 16.5 years old now so I guess she survived unscathed. I started leaving notes after that.

    1. Oh my gosh – that’s priceless. Even with my relatively young kids I still have pretty much forgotten everything that has to do with babies so I’m sure it’s twice and hard for grandparents. 🙂

  36. Thanks for sharing, I guess we have all been there those of us that are the grandparents can laugh till our sides hurt because we have done them both and you will be blessed with the same note some day and can pull this note out again to compare….probably should wait a few years before you give it to your daughter/daughter in law:):) I soooo loved this. Life is full and God loves us anyway and so do our parents and sometimes our inlaws:)

  37. These are priceless! I totally get the 1st born thing. My first (and only) child was in daycare for a short time and I remember how I spoke to the director if I happen to walk in and she was crying. I think I said things like, “she has been crying too long and I can tell because she is clearly responding with parasympathetic symptoms ……” ???? The director would just give me a blank stare. I don’t even know what that means….lol. Your letter is something I would have so done! Thanks for sharing.

  38. I recently found one of my ‘handy tips’ essays I used to leave with grandparents.
    ‘read this story…lie him on his left….sing baabaa 3times…’
    Man I was uptight. I bet they didn’t do any of it.
    He’s now a totally normal 5yr old and the only instruction is ‘dont give him a ton of sweets just before he comes home’

    1. Yes, we’ve lightened up a lot and pretty much the rules fly out the window when they’re at the grandparents’ house now. We just rush out the door before they have a chance to change their minds! 😉

  39. Love, love, love it! I still havent let my in laws baby sit yet but with my own parents they received an email the night before with so much information that was beyond overkill. I sent my mum pictures of bath time, feed time, bottle time etc. I basically sent her pics of how her whole night should look! That night my mum took several pictures of everything going wrong, and when I picked him up in the morning, all she said was ‘see, he’s still alive’ they now take him once a month and I have no worries about his care lol

    1. Too funny – A grandma had just also replied that her daughter included illustrations as well. I never even thought of adding pictures, but that’s BRILLIANT! It would be funny to see the side by side photos of ‘what it should look like’ vs ‘what at did look like’. 🙂

  40. My granddaughter was about 6 months old when I got instructions very similar to this. COMPLETE WITH ILLUSTRATIONS on how to lay her down and her blanket on her LEFT side. I still have that note (she is 2 1/2 now) and will save it forever.

  41. Is it bad that I left my son with my mum and said I’ve made no plans for him do what you want lol.
    You never tell an Irish granny what to do!!

    1. Not at all. Every mom knows what’s right for them. And even *this* mom doesn’t leave notes anymore. 🙂 Of course, they’re 9 & 5 now….they’re the ones that leaves the notes with demands now!

  42. Hilarious! But so true. When we left our first born with my mom for the first time, we did the same thing. When we went over my instructions, prior to us leaving, she listened intently and nodded at everything I said. Made me feel like she was really paying attention to everything I was telling her. A smart woman, as I could relax on our trip – knowing she had paid attention to everything! She told me years later that she pretty much ignored most of my instructions and “did her own thing”, after we left. All 4 of our children are now grown and we have 7 grandchildren of our own – and I do the same thing!

    1. Love it. A few years later we left her again so my husband and I could go to a friend’s wedding in Mexico. That time ALL 4 grandparents flew in to take care of her (by choice, they’re all friends and enjoy getting together). They said by the end of the trip, instead of asking for Grandma, Grandpa, Nana or Pop, she would just call from the other room: “Ohhhhh Grannnndparenttts!”

  43. This is so great! I love your ‘interpretations’. I will be in a similar situation very soon and am trying my best to not get too crazy with the notes. I live in MN and in exactly 1 month we are going to South Africa via London for 12 days. My 2 boys (almost 4 & almost 2) are staying behind with my MIL. We have had babysitters on occasion, but never been away from them overnight. Freaking out just a little bit!

    1. That sounds like an amazing trip! I have found, now that we’ve done this a few times now, that the key is just getting past the first airplane take off. They’re in good hands and it’s such a special opportunity for them to get that bonding time with the grandparent(s). Have a wonderful time!

  44. Thank you for this! We are expecting our first in the next month and this is great. I know I’ll be equally as “informative”, as my notes for dog sitters are usually at least 2 typed pages. But maybe I’ll tone it down a bit after seeing this example. Maybe …

  45. WOW!! Thank you!!!! I was laughing so hard tears where streaming. I was blessed with being the oldest child of 6 so when I had my first child I had lots and lots of babysitters ready to play and cuddle. However, we have have adopted 3 children 20 years after my oldest was born. The youngest child has Cerebral Palsy so my care instructions actually look like this and I laugh at the fact that I have to have such a list. Of course the list comes with special instructions for the older 2…… Send them outside to play, they can make their own sandwiches, AND they must put everything away (Meaning, you shouldn’t clean up the mess that the 9 & 7 y.o. make).

  46. Thanks for the true laugh-out-loud moments – yes, more than one! Your current notations are as hilarious as the whole idea of your original note. As a mom who raised 3 kids and a grandmother of a gaggle of grandkids, I can only imagine the self-control, patience and love that your in-laws exhibited by being so gracious. They knew that one day this realization would dawn on you, and here it is. As they wisely determined at the time, silence can sometimes be more than golden. But, I’ll bet they had a good chuckle privately!

  47. At first glance I thought this was someone else poking fun at a new mom and my first thought was, “Hey! Not nice!” Then I read the whole article and realized it was the mom in question laughing at her own overprotective-ness and could not stop laughing. My son is almost two and already I recently came across a babysitter list I made for a family member watching him for only a few hours that I am ashamed to admit reminded me quite a bit of this one! Oooops!!! <3

  48. LOL Thanks for the giggle. As a mother of 4 I remember giving those detailed instructions to the in-laws and my own parent. Now i’m like have fun as I run for the door. 😀

    1. It was not easy (obviously, based on my note). I was fortunate to have 2 loving grandparents (plus my husband was still there too, they just covered during the day). As much as I wanted to honor my time with my baby, it was equally important for me to honor my time with my mom too, especially given this once in a lifetime opportunity. Every mom knows what’s right for them and their kids – I will tell you though it gets much easier after the first time. 😉

  49. With our first baby, 16 years ago, my husband made a spreadsheet where he kept up with poopy diapers, wet diapers, and minutes nursed. He presented it to the doctor for her first checkup like a proud cat would bring you a dead mouse. The look on the doctor’s face was priceless. My husband was hurt that the doc didn’t want to include it in her medical files.

    1. I did the exact same thing! I had a spreadsheet detailing nursing duration, times, everything! I think part of if was new parent insanity (my 2nd child got NONE of that), but also because of the equally huge adjustment of not working anymore. I told my husband I was about to start doing Power Point presentations to recap our days for him just so I felt like I was ‘producing’ something every day.

  50. Love it! Made me chuckle! We’ve all done some sort of cra-cra like this with our first born! I know I left long notes too. I left track of EVERY oz of milk he drank!

    I believe the notes are actually for US; for our peace of mind while we are gone away from our precious baby:).

    1. Fortunately they have a good sense of humor. Forgot to mention that my husband was actually still in town and they were just watching my daughter during the day – I don’t know if that makes it better or worse 😉

      1. Worse, so much worse! But in an exceptionally awesome way. Isn’t it awesome being a first time mom?

        I have a 9 month old (1st child) and I just hired a nanny part time for some help during the week. While I haven’t bombarded her with lists by any means, I worry that I’m not worried enough. Haha. How’s that for crazy?? Somehow I think my son will survive. 😉

  51. I did the same thing when my brother and sister in law watched my daughter for a day. It was only one page and typed, but I still did it. Nevermind that my brother is a decade older than I am and has a teenage son and a daughter a year older than mine… I was nervous that entire day, too. My daughter has been watched a handful of times in her life. I trust no one, lol. Ironically we call our daughter Zoey (Her real name is Arizona.) I titled her instructions “How to Care for Your Newly Acquired Zo Monster” XD Glad to know I’m not the only insane one out there haha!

  52. This is wonderful.

    We had all four grandparents in our house watching our four-year-old when my son was born. He was in the NICU for a week and I was there almost full-time, and my husband quite a lot, too. (I had been in the hospital on bed rest for nine weeks already – the only real difference was that I was sleeping in a different room and didn’t have nurses making sure I ate any more.)

    Four grandparents, who collectively managed to raise four children to competent adulthood, were completely unable to manage one four-year-old girl. They had to call my husband to come home and deal with her because she was so unmanageable. :-O

    1. That’s hilarious. Yes, nowhere in this post did I admit that a couple years later when my husband and I took a trip to Mexico all four grandparents came to watch her. (I should try to dig up that letter!) 😉

  53. This is awesome! My son is 18 months old. I left notes for my mom when he was younger (mostly about eating times, amounts, etc.), but they were never quite this, ummmm, detailed. 🙂 It’s awesome that your in-laws have such a great sense of humor about it. My MIL would laugh in my face at any instructions as she has thrown in the “I raised 3 kids” line a few times. 😛

  54. OMG!! I almost fell off my chair laughing! You have a wonderful sense of humor that you’re able to laugh at yourself and invite us to join in!! Hope you show your in-laws this post too! 🙂

  55. I love everything about this. Everything. AND I once left my aunt a very detailed note about my daughter while she was potty training along with a list of DVD titles and her “code names” for them! Ha!

  56. Hysterical! I’m surprised the note survived! My parents probably would have laughed at it and thrown it away. Last year I went on a 4-day retreat and I left a four page, typed list of info for them, but in my defense they had soccer games and violin practices and all those kinds of things!

  57. Hahaha. I’m a first time mom with a 6 month old and the best part is, this doesn’t seem strange to me at all! At least I get how hilarious that is 🙂 thanks for sharing

  58. I just got a similar set of instructions from my daughter. I’ve been watching my granddaughter on overnights since she was a couple of weeks old and now all of a sudden when she’s 9 months, I need a set of instructions??? Bless her heart!!

  59. Love, love, LOVE this. We all have done out, and then look back and realize how arrogant as first time patents we really were. (Or maybe that was just me?) Bless your in laws heart (for real, not calling them a dumb a**) for putting up with your cra-cra!) One day, we will be the grandma’s receiving pages of crazy. Good times!

    And bless your heart. And yes, it means exactly what you think it means.

    1. Oh my gosh, can you even imagine how long my ‘in case I die’ list would have been? The next year my husband and I went to Mexico and ALL FOUR grandparents came to watch her…I’m sure there was a list involved with that trip too….guessing the grandparents shredded it the minute we left.

    2. So did I. It’s still in my underwear drawer where I figured it would be found when they sorted through my things after my demise. My daughter is 26 years old. There’s something about new motherhood that is induces craziness. Probably the total sleep deprivation.

      1. Oh, the sleep deprivation….I still start to sweat when I think of it. I’m happy to report that I majorly mellowed out with baby #2 and 8 years later, my daughter appears to be (relatively) undamaged by my craziness.

        1. With Baby #2, who woke every 2 hrs around the clock FOR THREE MONTHS STRAIGHT (nurse, change, nurse, down to bed, I sleep 45 min., then start over….. 24/7) – I was convinced I was going to make medical history when I died from lack of sleep. Turns out you can’t, but I sure felt like it….

  60. Still laughing and shared on FB! I had a similar experience lately, found my youngest daughters baby book. It had been twelve years and three husbands since I had a baby. I was a 30 year old woman with “vast” experience with children. Well, compared to her poor befuddle 20 year old Daddy(1). I was, somewhat smugly, reading through her baby book admiring how detailed and totally on point it was, and proudly showed her. She flipped through it for a few minutes and then pointed to an entry on the MILESTONES page,
    “Laura is now talking in complete sentences. She has done everything early, since walking at just before 8 months.(2)”

    My daughter’s name is Lauren.

    (1) Don’t judge, we got married and stayed that way, 23 years now. Also, yes, you did the math *shudder* right, I had three husbands by the time I was 30.

    (2)True and not as awesome as it sounds. Turns out that babies that walk at that age, don’t recognize steps, or doorways and pretty much anything in their path, as an obstacle. *runrunruncrashscreamrunrunruncrashscreambloodrun…*)

    I obviously have no idea how to use footnotes. Must get on that.

    1. Love it! It’s funny you mention baby books…I actually found this note because I was planning to write a post about my kids’ insanely outdated baby books (5 year old’s is still wrapped in plastic). When I was digging for the books this note popped out with them. It’s nice that we can look back and laugh at ourselves and it’s a nice reminder for me to be a little gentler with my friends who are working through those milestones with their first babies now. Have a great weekend!

      1. When my granddaughter was born, my DIL became Linda Blair from the exorcist lol, I went and stayed with my son and her to help with Emma, she sat there and gave me a minute by minute “to do list” on taking care of Emma while she went to work, this is how you put her diaper on, then desetin (no rash) then what outfit for her to wear, then a change of outfit if she needed, she can only sleep 1hr then wake her up, feed her 4.5oz of breast milk, play one hr, let her nap 1 hr, you get the picture right, I looked at her and thought to myself, “You do know I have 2 grown sons,which by the way, you would not have this baby right here if it wasn’t for me, you know since I gave birth to your husband, then she says, this is how I want things done, I said you are really putting unneeded stress on yourself with this list, I said I do know how to care for a baby, I was afraid her head would spin lol, but she left, I turned around and just forgot everything she had just said, had a perfect day with Emma, she was off the next day, she was so stressed out by her damn schedule, Emma cried or was fussy most of the day, I said hmm, she was a perfect angel for me, she goes ” well I don’t believe that, after a few days, she stopped having a a list, Emma was a happy girl, just goes to show, Grammies are Mama’s to and don’t refuse help they will give you, she went on to have 2 boys and didnt learn from Emma, you dont need a list, okay done rambling!!

        1. Lol, glad you could be there…I think the point is Every mom, should get to figure out what works and doesn’t work for them.

        2. Funny 🙂 but sometimes it’s all the opposite! and Grandma turns out to be the one stressed out when you don’t give enough directions or don’t have a schedule in place. I know some grandmas who claim to have forgotten how to deal with a baby. Which I completely understand as I’ve forgotten many many things since my 3 year old was a baby. Maybe that’s why many mothers opt for the detailed and exhaustive lists of details for any occasional caregiver 😉

      2. Oh good! I’m not the only one then, hahaha. My first child has a carefully crafted, cut out shapes from all the gift bags for decorations, perfectly saved sonogram pics, M on the customizeable front cover, baby book…my second child has nothing :-/ I do have lots of pics, but they’re in boxes, in the safe, or on the external hard drive to our computer #fail

  61. This is HILARIOUS!

    I watch a 2.5 year old a few days a week and I guarantee if her parents left for an extended period of time, it would involve a note just like this. Before I started, I got a super detailed email about potty training and a protocol to follow at naptime timed down to the minute.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

      1. yes. yes we do. If you haven’t read “The Nanny Diaries”- before you hire a nanny- you should. My favorite part of the book was when she makes the disclaimer “These are not the stories of any one particular family that we worked for.” My addition, “They are the stores of EVERY family that they worked for.” I love that you see the humor in your note- some people never get to that point.

  62. I doubt I would have trusted anyone to watch my child, for mother is the only one in the world that could figure out the complex subtleties of a one year old, so you at last did better than me. I still need to work on my relationship with my MIL.

    1. A couple years later both my husband I and I went to Mexico and all 4 grandparents came to watch her. Fortunately 3 year olds are much more straight forward than 1 year olds. Curious if I still have the notes from that trip too. 🙂

      1. I think its fantastic that both your parents and in-laws even offered to do that for you.. your truly blessed.. I wish I had the opportunity to write my former in-laws or parents a letter like that.. but I am greatful you did and I got to read it.

  63. It was very sweet of you to care enough to write such intricate instructions. And boy did we have fun with Zoe! Thank you for letting us have the experience!

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